Self Opening States Only

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California

 

The 4 cans on the right, bottom row are from Grace Brothers/Santa Rosa. The 4 Fisher cans, the 3 Lucky cans, and the entire top row are from San Francisco. All other cans are from Los Angeles except the bottom left Labatt’s from Azusa.



 In 1897 Frank P. Grace and his brother Joseph T. Grace left their grocery business when they purchased Santa Rosa’s Steam Brewery. Frank died in 1930 but his five sons (Frank(Moses), William, Jack, Tom, and James) joined with Uncle Joseph and through purchases and mergers of other small Southern Cal. Breweries, created a brewing empire.

Grace Brothers had a very rich and diverse (cans, labels, advertisements, etc) of many extremely short-run and highly desirable breweria.

Joseph T. died in 1957 and the last surviving of his five nephews, Tom, died in 1966. Within a year, Maier Brewing (Paul Kalmanovitz) of Los Angeles operated the Santa Rosa plant until closing it in 1969.


Zobelein Brewing Company

   The year 1900 found Joseph Maier and George Zobelein operating their successful Maier and Zobelein Brewery in Los Angeles. When Maier died in 1904 his son's J. Fred Maier and Edward R. Maier became Zobelein's new partners. He realized the Maier Brothers way of doing business differed from his best interest and soon the two parties were in court. Zobelein won the case and a cash settlement that he used to purchase the Los Angeles Brewing Company which he renamed Eastside Brewing. Eastside produced soda, malt beverages and denatured alcohol (sold to doctors and dentists) to survive Prohibition. At one minute after midnight on April 7, 1933 Hollywood Superstar Jean Harlow smashed the first legal bottle of Eastside 3.2 alcoholic beer on a fully loaded Eastside delivery truck in front of photographers and a large and cheering crowd of thirsty people. When the night was over Eastside had a stack of money 18 inches high totaling over 1/4 million dollars in depression Era money - Happy Days are Here Again.

George died in 1938 but Eastside thrived during the second World War. The Zobelein family saw the national competition oogling the Southern California market and sold their brewery to Pabst (Milwaukee) in 1948. Pabst brewed Eastside, Old Tap, and PBR until closing the facility in 1979.

"Put Eastside Inside"


General/Lucky Lager Brewing

  The General Brewing Company was founded in San Francisco in 1934. Their flagship brand was Lucky Lager and the date of brewing was stamped right on their products. Proper Aging (Lagering) at least three months was important so that the consumer wouldn't be drinking "Green" beer (too soon) or beer that was on the shelf too long and acquired a Skunky taste. Customers liked the "Age Dating" and could be sure of the fresh taste of Lucky Lager and sales steadily grew. By 1939 the Star/Interstate Brewing Company of Vancouver, Washington (Hop Gold) became their northern branch. Shortly after World War 2 General Brewing surpassed Acme Brewing (G.I.'s claimed Acme Beer tasted skunky) as Califormia's leader brewery in sales. In 1949 they changed their name to Lucky Lager Brewing Company and built a new facility in Azusa, California which became their southern branch. Lucky was rapidly gaining market share in Utah due to their low selling price and Fisher Brewing of Salt Lake City filed a law suit against them for price fixing. Fisher won the law suit and an award of 2 million dollars in the late 1950's. Counter suits followed and when the dust settled Lucky became the new owner of Fisher Brewing. They operated the Salt Lake City Brewery until closing it in 1967 but continued brewing Fisher beer in San Francisco.  In 1970 Paul Kalmanovitz (Maier Brewing company) bought Lucky. He merged Maier with Lucky in 1971 and reused the General Brewing name. He closed the Azusa plant and began brewing both Fisher and Lucky Lager in his Pueblo (old Walter's Brewing) plant in Colorado. He closed both the Maier and Pueblo facilities in 1974 and the original Lucky plant in San Francisco in 1975 when he gained control of Falstaff Brewing.


It's Lucky when you live in California

It's Lucky when you live in the West        

                         

Great Slogan for a Great Brewery

Jack McAuliffen of Sonoma started the  New Albion Brewing Company. It is recognized as the first microbrewery. It started in October 1976 and operations ceased in November 1982. Although little know outside the brewing industry, its impact on todays American Microbreweries is historic!